Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2019


Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

First Advisor

Laura Doyle


The St. Francis Retreat Center located in San Juan Bautista, California has over 7000 visitors a year. The Retreat Center aims to provide a peaceful rejuvenating experience for its visitors through the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and landscape it has to offer. Unfortunately, the Retreat Center has a lake on its property that, primarily during the summer months, is dry due to the lack of rain. In effort to solve this problem and make the property more visually appealing, the Retreat Center would like to use the water from a well to recharge the lake. The well, however, is currently contaminated with high levels of nitrates. A sustainable, cost-effective, and aesthetically appealing solution to this problem is a denitrification bioreactor. This report designs a denitrification bioreactor for the Retreat Center. Included in this report is an analysis of the potential location of the bioreactor, the size of the bioreactor, the grade of the bioreactor walls, and flow rate and pipe size for the bioreactor. Additionally, this report addresses logistics for the construction of the bioreactor including the necessary cut and fill amounts, the cost estimate, and finally the schedule for construction. Ultimately, the Retreat Center would use the components of this report as the foundation for the construction of their denitrification bioreactor.